Eight years ago today, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza – one of Israel’s biggest, avoidable, self-inflicted wounds. In recollection of it, I’m reposting Daniel Mandel’s May 2005 piece published in the Boston Globe ––one of the only opinion piece to oppose the withdrawal published in any major American liberal newspaper. Unfortunately, the idiotic move was supported by many of Israel’s ostensible friends. More important, nothing has been learned as Israel is again enmeshed in peace processing….rsk


SINCE December 2003, Ariel Sharon has astonished friend and foe alike, embracing the very idea he opposed in the elections that confirmed him in power in January 2003.
The idea is ”unilateral disengagement,” whereby Israel, without a peace agreement, withdraws its military and civilians from the territories administered by Israel since the 1967 war — in this case, the Gaza Strip. The Labor opposition’s Amram Mitzna lost badly campaigning on this very platform, coming in for incisive criticism from not a few figures, not just among the governing Likud, but from a bevy of informed Israeli observers. To cite just two:

Historian Michael Oren: ”The minute you pull out of Gaza you signal to the Arabs that you’re in retreat. It’s a huge victory for the Palestinians. Palestinians will have huge celebrations in Gaza. You think they’ll sit down and talk after that?”

Respected centrist journalist, Yossi Klein Halevi: ”If unilateral withdrawal could happen in a void, it would be the right decision But it is not happening in a void . . . The psychological implications are to reinforce the post-Lebanon withdrawal perception in the Arab world that we are a defeatist society and with enough pressure we’ll simply withdraw.”

Indeed, Ariel Sharon himself could not have been clearer at the time: ”A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war.”

If these criticisms are correct, then unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza is a victory for terrorism; bloodshed is likely to flow from it, and Sharon of all people must know it.

What, then, is Sharon’s rationale? According to his supporters, both right and left, the withdrawal represents Israel seizing the initiative, setting its own lines of defense, and preempting noxious diplomatic initiatives from Israel’s ill-wishers. But all this looks doubtful. True, the Israel Defense Forces will be relieved of the onerous duty of defending isolated Jewish communities in a sea of enemies, but its absence from Gaza will also afford Palestinian terrorist groups a freer hand for mounting further attacks. And an initiative that stimulates the aggression of terrorists will not be altered by its originating in Jerusalem, as the terrorists themselves make clear.

Thus, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, has opined, ”all the Israeli statements about a withdrawal from Gaza Strip are due to the Palestinian resistance operations. We are completely confident that as the Hezbollah Organization managed to kick the Israeli forces out of Lebanon, the Palestinian resistance will kick them out of the Palestinian territories, and we will continue our resistance.”


The Center for Security Policy announced today that the 2013 recipient of its Mightier Pen Award will be Diana West, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of The Death of the Grown-up:How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization, co-author of Shariah: The Threat to America, and most recently author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character. The award will be presented at a luncheon on November 20th at the Union League Club in New York City.

Diana West’s weekly newspaper column is syndicated by Universal Uclick, and appears in over 100 publications nationwide, as well as at her website www.dianawest.net. West also serves as Washington correspondent for the European weekly newspaper Dispatch International. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The New Criterion, The Public Interest, Women’s Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, and The Washington Post Magazine; her fiction has appeared in Atlantic Monthly. She has made numerous radio appearances and as a former CNN contributor, she made frequent television appearances on the former CNN show, “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” She was recently featured in the Glenn Beck TV documentaries “The Project” and “Rumors of War III.”

Ms. West joins an illustrious group of authors, journalists and essayists who have received this recognition for their commitment to a robust national security and their efforts to educate our countrymen and women about the need to practice the philosophy President Reagan called “peace through strength.” Previous recipients include: Mark Helprin, Charles Krauthammer, Roger Ailes, William F. Buckley, Jr., A.M. Rosenthal, Andrew C. McCarthy, Norman Podhoretz, Claudia Rosett, and Monica Crowley.

In announcing this recognition, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, observed:

“Diana West is among America’s most thoughtful and intellectually invigorating writers of our time. Her efforts to illuminate the contemporary threats to our society and culture – and to map out their historical antecedents and the appropriate responses to them – in order to preserve our freedoms, Constitution and nation are exemplary. We take great pride in bestowing this recognition on a cherished friend and admired colleague.”

For information about the Mightier Pen Award event and to make reservations to attend, please contact Tracey Johnson atJohnson@centerforsecuritypolicy.org, or 571-228-2949.

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public.

For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.


http://www.investigativeproject.org/4158/princeton-professor-embraces-9-11-conspiracy He is one of the nation’s most visible academics, making frequent television appearances and speaking throughout the country as part of Tavis Smiley’s speaker’s bureau. Princeton University Professor Cornel West also straddles a line in which he does not espouse conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks, but he openly encourages those who do. The […]


The US offered a $5 million bounty for American-born jihadi Omar Hammami, who was reportedly killed by al-Shabab Sept. 12.

A 29-year-old native Alabaman, a YouTube rapper on the FBI jihadi list, said he didn’t expect to come home “unless it’s in a body bag.”

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A rapping jihadi from Alabama who became one of Somalia’s top al-Qaida-linked rebels was killed Thursday in an ambush ordered by the rebels’ leader, the extremists said.

Omar Hammami, a native of Daphne, Ala., who was known as Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or “the American,” died in southern Somalia following several months on the run after a falling-out with al-Shabab’s top leader, the rebels said.

Related: Will $5M bring down tweeting, rapping US jihadi?

Reports of Hammami’s death have cropped up every few months in Somalia, only for him to resurface a short while later. But a United States terrorism expert who closely follows the inner workings of the al-Shabab rebels says he thinks that the current reports of the death are accurate.

The rebels did not immediately present proof of Hammami’s death.



1. Yom Kippur commemorates God’s forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf. Forgiveness applies to everyone, including non-religious persons. In addition, Yom Kippur commemorates God’s Covenant with the Jewish people.

2. Yom Kippur is a day of forgiveness only for sins committed against God. It is customary to dedicate the eve of Yom Kippur to apologies for sins committed against fellow human-beings. However, an apology or compensation are not sufficient if they do not elicit an expressed forgiveness by the injured person. One should not be selfish, and therefore one is commanded to invite transgressors to participate in Yom Kippur services.

3. Yom Kippur’s focus on seeking forgiveness highlights humility (admitting fallibility), faith, soul-searching, thoughtfulness, being considerate, compassion, accepting responsibility, magnanimity. Speaking ill of other people (“evil tongue” in Hebrew) may not be forgiven. In order to provide more time for seeking forgiveness, there are five services conducted on Yom Kippur, compared with three daily services and four on Shabbat and other holidays.

4. Yom Kippur is a Happy Jewish Holiday, replacing vindictiveness and rage with peace-of-mind and peaceful co-existence between God and human beings and, primarily, among human beings.

5. Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, whose astrological sign is Libra (♎). Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, sensitivity and optimism. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light and love of the other person. It is the name of my oldest granddaughter! The numerical value of the Hebrew letters of נגהis 58, just like the numerical value of אזן, which is the Hebrew root of “balance” and “scale.” Tishrei and Libra are dominated by the Hebrew letter ל, which is the tallest Hebrew letter, consisting of 3 parts, aiming upward, reflecting the need to elevate-oneself morally, self-enhancement. Yom Kippur is not driven by punishment, but by behavioral-enhancement.

6. Three holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (Tabernacles) – are celebrated during the Jewish month of Tishrei. The number 3 is identified with balance, stability and The Essence. The triangle is a symbol of stability.

7. The first human being, Adam, was created on the first day of Tishrei. Human-beings are accorded an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually, each year, on Yom Kippur, the tenth day of Tishrei – an Acadian word for forgiveness and Genesis. Yom Kippur culminates ten days of genuine, heart-driven atonement/repentance, which begin on Rosh Hashanah. Ten has special significance in Judaism: God’s abbreviation is the tenth Hebrew letter (Yod – י); Ten attributes of God – Divine perfection – were highlighted during the Creation; the Ten Commandments; the Ten Plagues; Ten reasons for blowing the Shofar; 10% gift to God (tithe); the Ten Martyrs (Rabbis who were tortured/murdered by the Roman Empire); the ten generations between Adam and Noah and ten generations between Noah and Abraham; a ten worshipper quorum (Minyan in Hebrew) is required for a collective Jewish prayer; etc.

8. Yom Kippur and the Jubilee highlight liberty and the subordination to God. The Jubilee – sanctifying each 50th year by proclaiming liberty, as also inscribed on the Liberty Bell – is announced by blowing the Shofar (a ritual ram’s horn) on Yom Kippur. The Jubilee liberates people physically and spiritually. The word “jubilee” (יובל) is a Hebrew synonym for Shofar.

9. The Hebrew word Kippur כיפור (atonement/repentance) is a derivative of the Biblical word Kaporet כפורת , the cover of the Holy Ark at the Sanctuary, and Kopher כופר, the cover of Noah’s Ark and the Holy Altar at the Temple. Yom Kippur resembles a spiritual cover (dome), which separates between the holy and the mundane, between spiritualism and materialism. The Kippaכיפה (skullcap, Yarmulke), which covers one’s head during prayers, reflects a spiritual dome.

10. Yom Kippur calls for repentance – Teshuvah, תשובה in Hebrew. The root of Teshuvah is similar to root of the Hebrew word for Return שובה – returning to positive values – and Shvitah שביתה – cessation (strike) of mundane thoughts and actions and eating. It is also similar to the root of Shabbat שבת. Yom Kippur is also called Shabbat Shabbaton – the supreme Sabbath. The last Sabbath before Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Teshuvah (based on Hosea’s prophesy, chapter 4). While the Sabbath is the soul of the week, Yom Kippur is the soul of the year.

11. The Hebrew spelling of “fast” (צם/צום) – abstinence from food – reflects the substance of Yom Kippur. The Hebrew word for “fast” is the root of the Hebrew word for “reduction” and “shrinking” (צמצום) of one’s wrong-doing. It is also the root of the Hebrew words for “slave” (צמית) and “eternity” (צמיתות) – enslavement to God, but not to human-beings. “Fast” is also the root of עצמי (being oneself), עצום (awesome), עצמה (power), עצמאות (independence), which are gained through the process of fasting, soul-searching, spiritual enhancement and faith in God.

12. The prayer of Veedooi -וידוי (confession/reaffirmation in Hebrew) is recited ten times during Yom Kippur, re-entrenching genuine repentance and the plea for forgiveness. The prerequisites for forgiveness are the expression and exercise of repentance; assuming full-responsibility for one’s (mis)behavior, and significantly altering one’s behavior. King Saul sinned only once – ignoring the commandment to annihilate the Amalekites – but was banished from the crown and killed, because he shirked responsibility, while responding to Samuel’s accusation. King David sinned twice (The “Bat-Sheba Gate” and the “Census Gate”), but was forgiven, because he accepted full-responsibility and the death sentence (as proclaimed by Nathan the Prophet), which was promptly rescinded.

13. A Memorial Candle, commemorating one’s parent(s), is lit during Yom Kippur. It reaffirms Honor Thy Father and Mother, providing another opportunity to ask forgiveness of one’s parent(s), as well as asking forgiveness on their behalf.

14. The Scroll of Jonas is read on Yom Kippur. It demonstrates that repentance and forgiveness is universal to all peoples. Among its lessons: commanding one to assume responsibility; getting involved socially/politically; sounding the alarm when wrong-doing is committed anywhere in the world; displaying compassion for all peoples and adhering to faith and optimism in defiance of all odds.

15. A long sound of the Shofar (תקיעה גדולה) concludes Yom Kippur. It commemorates the covenant with God (the almost-sacrifice of Isaac), the receipt of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, Liberty (Jubilee) and the opening of Gods gates of forgiveness. The Hebrew root of Shofar שופר means to enhance/improve oneself (שפר). A Hebrew synonym for Shofar is Keseh כסה, which also means cover-Kaporet-Kippur.

Shabbat Shalom, have a pleasant weekend and may you, and your family, be inscribed and sealed for a good year!


http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100235335/barack-obamas-syria-speech-was-an-incoherent-mess-he-is-outperforming-jimmy-carter-as-the-most-feeble-us-president-of-modern-times/ Barack Obama’s Syria speech was an incoherent mess – he is outperforming Jimmy Carter as the most feeble US president of modern times Billed as a game-changer on Syria, the President’s White House address landed with a thud that could be heard as far away as Damascus. Barack Obama has a huge credibility problem […]


http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/provocation-at-the-wall/ In an interview with Haaretz shortly before finishing his term as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren said he had been devoting considerable effort to convincing Israeli leaders that the battle over the attempt by a women’s group to hold prayer services at Jerusalem’s Western Wall “could have strategic implications.” In Israel, Oren explained, […]

PAVEL FELGENHAUER:Moscow Elated with a Diplomatic Scoop on Syria

Pavel E. Felgenhauer is a Russian journalist. He is known for his publications critical of Russia’s political and military leadership. Translated from Russian
Moscow Elated with a Diplomatic Scoop on Syria

Moscow was elated by the success of an unexpected diplomatic initiative this week on Syria that has postponed indefinitely a seemingly inevitable military assault by the United States. The strike would have been aimed at punishing the forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons to attack a Damascus suburb on August 21, allegedly killing hundreds of civilians. On Monday, September 9, after intensive negotiations in Moscow with a Syrian government delegation led by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, Russia’s foreign ministry chief, Sergei Lavrov, told journalists that Syria must agree to place its chemical arsenal under “international control” and eventually destroy it after signing and ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention and joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) (http://www.interfax.ru/world/txt.asp?id=327989). Al-Moualem and the government in Damascus promptly agreed to disclose the Syrian chemical arsenal, place it under “international control” and eventually destroy it. Lavrov disclosed that Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama discussed the idea of placing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg last week and that the “Russian initiative on Syria is not entirely Russian” (http://www.interfax.ru/print.asp?sec=1446&id=328121).


http://sarahhonig.com/2013/09/13/another-tack-flat-earth-20-years-on/ Time was when sensible folks truly believed that if you venture too far, you’ll fall off Earth’s jagged edge into the endless void below. That was the majority view, the widely-accepted and fundamentally unquestioned conventional wisdom. By today, though, one would assume that nobody swallows that any more, certainly not in the erudite parts […]

MICHAEL FREUND:Israel Awaits an Apology From Architects of Accord Struck in 1993 at Oslo….


Twenty years ago this week, Israel committed one of the greatest strategic blunders in its modern history, one that is still casting a long and painful shadow over the entire Middle East.

Ignoring military intelligence, moral principles, and basic common sense, Prime Minister Rabin signed the Oslo Accords with Palestine Liberation Organization’s terrorist-in-chief, Yasser Arafat, on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, setting the stage for unprecedented bloodshed and unparalleled instability.

Nonetheless, despite the passage of two decades, the architects of Oslo stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the error of their ways and continue to ignore the damage they have wrought. It is time for them to do so.

Under Oslo, Israel allowed Arafat and his cohorts into Gaza and gave them weapons as well as territory to control. In return, we received the worst wave of violence and terror in the nation’s history.

Instead of harmony, Oslo brought horror, resulting in an immediate, predictable, and painfully prolonged wave of stabbings, shootings, and suicide bombings.

Here is a simple fact which speaks volumes: in the five years after Oslo, more Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists than in the 15 years prior to the signing of the agreement. A total of 279 men, women and children were murdered in the half-decade following the accords, while 254 were killed in the previous 15 years.